Thursday, May 30, 2024

Emmy Voting: Why Mad Men, Grace & Frankie, Kyle Chandler and Laura Carmichael Can’t Be Ignored


Today starts one week until Emmy Awards voting concludes on June 26th at 10pm. That’s when all ballots are due in for nominations. I watch just enough television to make some recommendations:

Without a doubt “Mad Men” is the Best Drama of 2015. Jon Hamm, who should win Best Actor, obviously gets nominated. But then, in supporting, comes John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks– at the very least. This was a show of such intelligence and humor, and real relationships and dialogue. When Don Draper comes to the desk at Esalen in the last episode, he utters what should be one of the greatest lines in drama: “People come and go, and no says goodbye.” That’s it, Matt Weiner and friends win. Also, the penultimate episode was my favorite, in which everyone gets their finale, and Don gives his car to the kid who got him beaten up.

On Netflix: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin must be nominated for “Grace and Frankie.” The series picks around the 3rd episode, and it never stops. Like “Veep,” this is sophisticated humor that needs to be recognized. Christine Lahti needs a Special Guest nomination, too.

Also on Netflix: Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn are standouts on “Bloodlines.” The series is growing on everyone. Both actors are terrific. And while I am a huge Mendelsohn fan, I do think Chandler exceeds all his previous kudos.

Netflix has great material right now. And believe me, I pay for it. Titus Burgess, from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” seems like the no brainer Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy this year. The “Veep” guys are all MVPs, Timothy Simons maybe most especially. But Burgess is burgeoning.

“Downton Abbey” earned Joanne Froggatt praise this year, and a Golden Globe award. I’d be very happy to see her in the Emmy race. Michelle Dockery gets a lot of attention, and she’s lovely. But somehow I think Laura Carmichael, as the put upon Edith, is constantly overlooked. On the men’s side, Hugh Bonneville is my “Downton” hero. “Downton” will have its day in 2016, when the show ends. That’s when the Emmy appreciation will come.

On the networks: We may have three African American women in Best Actress in a Drama: Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington. I sure hope they make it. Julianna Margulies is the creme de la creme. But I really enjoy Tea Leoni. She can do anything. Mariska Hargitay is good every year.

As for men on network dramas, there’s a scarcity of award winning work. “Hannibal” has a raft of good actors starting with Hugh Dancy.

In comedy: if “The Comedians” isn’t nominated, along with Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, something is very, very wrong.

More Emmy thoughts later…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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